I have to admit that one of my dog’s favorite things to chew on are sticks. He has a few favorites in our yard that he mostly just holds in his mouth while he rolls around in the grass. But he loves them, so we diligently pick them up when it’s time to mow and put them back in place when we’re done. He’ll gnaw on them for a while, mostly just ripping hunks off and spitting it out, so we’ve never made much fuss about it.
That’s why it was sad to read this article about why you really shouldn’t ever let your dog play with sticks. It seems like a fairly harmless activity, but there are quite a few dangerous things that could come from it. Just to name a few –
- Splinters can get stuck in their tongue, laryngeal tissues, and under the gumline next to the teeth
- They could inhale or swallow hunks that could cause obstruction, irritation, or infection of the respiratory tract or possibly puncture the trachea or lung tissue
- When chasing after a stick that’s stuck in the ground, the eager dog could pounce or run onto the exposed sharp end of it, causing significant puncture wounds and other damage
All of these are enough to make me queasy – I think we’ll get rid of our pet sticks. We’ll do it secretly, though, so no one gets upset.